Stockton Kings head coach Lindsey Harding on her new role
Oct 24, 2023, 9:21 AM | Updated: 9:24 am
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Following an incredible start to a basketball career that has included several triumphs, Lindsey Harding took the stage at Golden 1 Center on Monday for another milestone:
Becoming the head coach of a professional men’s basketball team.
Harding, a former number-one overall pick in the WNBA Draft out of Duke, will take the reigns of the Stockton Kings in 2023-24. The historic move makes the 39-year-old the first Black woman to become a head coach of a men’s professional basketball team, an honor Harding spoke about during her introductory press conference on Monday.
“This organization entrusted me with this, this responsibility and belief they had in me,” Harding said. “I have young girls now in college and high school saying, ‘I want to coach in the NBA.’ When I was that age, I didn’t even know that this was an opportunity. It’s great that I feel I’m able to follow my dreams to get this opportunity and open up doors hopefully for the future.”
Harding has gone through a lot during her career, but the former point guard attributed this massive step to growing with the Kings organization.
After initially being hired to work under then-head coach Luke Walton, current Sacramento head coach and reigning NBA Coach of the Year award winner Mike Brown retained Harding on his staff upon his hire last summer.
Harding continued to grow as a coach, and now she has been rewarded with the opportunity to become a head coach within the organization.
“I feel so honored to have this opportunity,” Harding said. “I came here four years ago as a player development coach, not knowing where I was going to go in the future. Each year I grew and got better and better. I had my eyes on this possible opportunity.”
Harding says she plans on working closely with Brown, and that Stockton will be viewed as an ‘extension’ of what the Kings–last year’s NBA darling and Pacific Division champion–continue to build down the road at Golden 1 Center.
“We would like to think we’re an extension of the Sacramento Kings,” Harding said of her plans as head coach.
“I would like a seamless transition from players that are going to be going back and forth. [Brown] talks a lot about playing together as a team, playing physical and playing fast. That’s exactly what we’re going to do. Might have my own little style and flair to it but it’s going to be pretty similar to that.”
Harding will work closely with new Stockton Kings GM Anjali Ranadive, daughter of Sacramento Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive, and both new hires understand the territory that will come with these new roles.
“We understand the weight of this, both of us do,” Harding said of her and Ranadive’s new positions within the organization. “We can’t be good, we have to be great.”
Next time, it’s for real.
The Kings will open their 2023-24 regular season on Wednesday night in Salt Lake City, Utah, for a matchup against the Utah Jazz.
Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Jazz coverage, beginning at 4:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 6:00 PM PST tip-off from downtown Salt Lake City.
Sacramento Kings 2023-24 Regular Season Schedule
- Wednesday, October 25th – Sacramento Kings @ Utah Jazz – 6 PM PST (Season Opener)
- Friday, October 27th – Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors – 7 PM PST (Home Opener)
- Sunday, October 29th – Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Lakers – 6 PM PST
- Wednesday, November 1st – Sacramento Kings @ Golden State Warriors – 7 PM PST
- Saturday, November 4th – Sacramento Kings @ Houston Rockets – 5 PM PST
- Monday, November 6th – Sacramento Kings @ Houston Rockets – 5 PM PST